Miguel Carrasquer Vidal mcv at WXS.NL
Mon May 11 01:03:21 UTC 1998

"Paul K. Manansala" <kabalen at MAIL.JPS.NET> wrote:

>I see. Now that one can give these languages a good "white" origin
>all of a sudden they are related again.  First you claim that
>Iranians were the original steppe dwellers.  Then you modify that to
>include speakers of Caucasian and Yenesei-Ostyak.  Then, you assert
>there may not be an Altaic family, and even if there is it is not
>related to Uralic. Now, you think all these are related under the
>Caucasoid Nostratic banner.

Confusing isn't it?  Well, that's the facts for you. They are never
simply black and white.  I would put the origin of the Indo-Europeans
in SE Europe (and ultimately Anatolia), and therefore the
Indo-Europeans must have entered the steppe-lands from the West.  The
Turkic and Mongolian peoples originated in SE Siberia/Mongolia, and
therefore entered the steppe-lands from the East.  Who were the
original inhabitants?  Well, possibly the ancestors of the
Yeniseians, North Caucasians and Sino-Tibetans (whether these three
groups are linguistically related or not).  If you look at the
linguistic map of the Northern Caucasus, it makes sense: the Caucasus
is what Johanna Nichols calls a 'residual zone', while the steppe
north of it is a 'spread zone'.  Layer by layer, as the dominant
populations of the spread zone are replaced by new arrivals, the
residual zone gathers the linguistic sediment: North Caucasians
(Abkhaz-Circassians and Chechen-Dagestanians) first, followed by
Iranian Ossetes, followed by Turkic peoples (Kumyk, Nogay, Karachay,
and Balkar), by Mongols (Kalmyk), by Slavs (Russians).  We have the
whole linguisic prehistory of the Western Eurasian steppe right
there, reaching back maybe 10,000 years.  People coming in from the
west and people coming in from the east.  I don't care much for your
platyrrhine skeletons, whatever that means: linguistics alone tells
us, if we're prepared to listen, that the steppe population is and
has always been mixed, neither "Caucasoid" nor "Mongoloid".

>I guess we have reached the end of enlightenment in our discussion.
>However, I will discuss the matter with anyone who doesn't see the
>Scythian/Hsiung-nu likenesses as purely coincidental.

It isn't.  The Xiongnu adopted the steppe way of life from the

Miguel Carrasquer Vidal
mcv at

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